Does VP Osinbajo have such powers? by Debo Seun

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo commissioned the 200,000-capacity yam facility in Benue
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

By Debo Seun

Understandably, Nigerians crave a better life and that is what governance is about but there is one small problem here, we need to channel our complaints in the right direction, else we might not get the right feedback.

Asking the Vice President to provide power, roads, schools, hospitals, etc is not a constitutional power that he possesses because he is not the Minister of Works, or senator representing your constituency, governor or local council chairman.

As Vice President, the constitutional powers are limited in many ways and it is important that we hold him accountable for that which is his job description as stated in the constitution. I know some will argue that he is part of this government and should be blamed but that is not how governance works.

People should held responsible for the failings of their office, at this point I will highlight the powers of the Vice President and why he cannot do some of the things Nigerians clamour for. One thing this Vice President has done so well, is to reach out to those directly responsible urging them to carry out their duties diligently.

Here is a brief breakdown of the functions of the Nigerian Vice President.

The executive functions of the Nigerian vice president includes participation in all cabinet meetings and, by statute, membership in the National Security Council, the National Defence Council, Federal Executive Council, and the Chairman of National Economic Council.

Although the vice president may take an active role in establishing policy in the Executive Branch by serving on such committees and councils, the relative power of the Nigerian vice president’s office depends upon the duties delegated by the president.

Of note in the functions of the Vice President of Nigeria is “the relative power of the Nigerian vice president’s office depends upon the duties delegated by the president.” When many people call the Vice President names and describe him in unprintable names, it is largely due to the fact that they do not know what the Office of the Vice President can do and cannot do.

Nigerians can now see that except for chairing the National Economic Council (NEC) and some MDAs, the powers of the Vice President are somewhat limited. In the case of Prof. Osinbajo, he has redefined the Office of the Vice President and I think that is why many demand that he does this and that.

As a political scholar and journalist, I know better and I think Nigerians should equip themselves better; we should not let governors blame everything on the President and get away with it. For example, many Nigerians cannot differentiate between the exclusive, concurrent and residual list. We still do not know who we should hold responsible for what and why? This is a matter for my next discuss.

For now, let me leave you with the functions of the Vice President, I will be back next week with more on Governance 101.